Studying Abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is commonly referred to as “The Paris of South America” because of its European influence and cosmopolitan feel. The culture of Buenos Aires is very rich and the inhabitants of the Rio de la Plata region of the country, who are known as “Porteños” are extremely proud of their nationality. Buenos Aires is the perfect place to study abroad because it is such a large city with so much to do and see. The nightlife in Buenos Aires is perhaps the best in all of South America, because the Argentine lifestyle can be described as “ir de joda”, which loosely translates to, “partying”.
Instead of the usual “discotecas”, the clubs in Buenos Aires are called “boliches”. A typical night out for an Argentine does not even begin until after midnight. Dinner is usually around 9:00 or 10:00, and then everyone rests and gets ready until it is time to go out for the night several hours later. Most of the boliches get crowded around 2:00 and do not close until the next morning, as late as 8:00. To truly experience a night “de joda” in Buenos Aires, one can anticipate dancing to thumping electronic music in a crowded club until the early morning hours, and getting a taxi home while the sun is rising. Different “boliches” are popular depending on the night of the week.
The only exception to this is Wednesday nights, in which clubs open as early as 9:00 for the after work crowd. People will show up in their suits and ties at clubs such as Museum, the three story club in San Telmo. On Thursday nights, Club 69, Lost, and Asia de Cuba are the most happening. Club 69 is one of the wildest clubs, with transvestites and break dancers who perform on two stages and even nude dancers that appear in the early morning hours. Club Arroz becomes known as Lost on Thursday nights, which is hip-hop night. If you are tired of techno beats,
Lost is the place to be on Thursdays. Asia de Cuba, an international chain of clubs located in Puerto Madero overlooks the bay area, and is one of the celebrity hangouts of Buenos Aires, and the place to be seen for twenty-somethings. Mint is a hot spot for the younger crowd on Friday nights, located in Palermo, which is basically the center of nightlife in Buenos Aires. Also in Palermo is Plaza Serrano, a roundabout plaza with several bars and clubs. If you are sick of the hardcore electronic music which most boliches play, Azucar is a club in Belgrano that plays salsa and Latino music. On Saturdays, Pacha and Sunset are the most popular. Even after the clubs begin to empty in the early morning hours, there are after-parties throughout the city that begin at 7:00.
Places to See:
The capital city of Argentina is incredibly rich in history, including the relatively recent history of the dictatorship and the disappearances of several hundreds of people, who became known as “los desaparecidos”, which means “the disappeared ones”. The mothers of these disappeared people gather to protest in the Plaza de Mayo, which is the main square of Buenos Aires. The Casa Rosada, located in the Plaza de Mayo, is the famously pink government building where Eva Peron would address the masses from the balcony. Evita’s remains can be visited at her tomb in the Recoleta Cemetery. The Obelisk, which looks very similar to the monument in Washington D.C., is located in the Plaza de la República in the intersection of the three main highways of the city, where the Argentine flag was flown for the first time. Besides the historical landmarks, there are several neighborhoods within Buenos Aires worth visiting, such as La Boca, to which the insanely popular soccer team Boca Juniors is home, and where Tango originated. Just be careful not to mention the rival team, River Plate while anywhere near La Boca, as soccer fans take their teams as seriously as life itself.
Buenos Aires is a city that never sleeps, and while it does share many of the traits of all South American cities, it is unique in its cosmopolitan atmosphere. The Argentine people are very proud of their prestigious reputation and rich cultural heritage. Buenos Aires has some of the most beautiful people in the world, and it is undeniable that they know how to enjoy life. Argentines spend a few hours each afternoon at outdoor cafés, sipping mate or espresso. No one really seems to be in much of a hurry to get back to work. There are millions of restaurants and street carts selling empanadas on the each corner. Locals will be more than willing to tell you all about the Tango, or the national heroes such as Evita Peron, “Che” Guevara, or the soccer legend Diego Maradona. Buenos Aires is a vibrantly sexy city with a hot scene for every type of person. Because of economic troubles, Buenos Aires is a much more affordable option than most European cities. Nightlife that continues into the morning hours, overly passionate soccer fans, the music of the Tango, and famous cafes and restaurants basically are the soul of the capital of Argentina.